By now you've probably done most of your shopping, or you at least have a plan to rush into the mall one hour before closing on Christmas Eve and buy that special someone whatever is left on the rack.
You also know exactly how many hours you'll have to spend listening to your father-in-law pontificate about next year's political climate.
You're gonna need beer. And not regular everyday beer, you amateur. Try some of these, they're made just for the particular delights of the Christmas season.
Ninjabread Man from Asheville Brewing Co. Weighing in at only 5.6% ABV, this spiced porter is perfect to get you through the company Christmas party if you'd like to leave with your reputation in tact. Cinnamon and cocoa bring the seasonal flavor without too much sweetness.
Celebration from Sierra Nevada. Just because winter is stout season, that doesn't mean you can't enjoy a hop-forward, malty and piney IPA while roasting your chestnuts on an open fire. This old-school brew from a big name is easy to find and great for sharing with newbies and beer nerds alike.
8 Maids a Milking from The Bruery. A sweet and creamy imperial milk stout that delivers a punch at 11.3% ABV. Heavy on the chocolate with subtle spice, this one is dessert in a glass. When you've survived the annual Christmas inquisition on when you're going to get a job/get married/have a baby/move back out of your mom's house, this will make you feel okay about all of your life choices.
Bourbon Abominable Winter Alefrom Fremont Brewing Co. At 14%, this one's for sharing, except you'll want to keep it all for yourself -- Merry Christmas to you. Fremont is known for their bourbon barrel aged beer and this one is a monster. Dark fruit with vanilla and whiskey are the perfect combination on a cold winter night.
Winter Saison from Blackberry Farms. Another great option for full-bodied flavor at a lower ABV. Surprisingly dark, this farmhouse ale brings abbey style flavor that is roasty and complex. This beer pairs perfectly with your 13th viewing of National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation.
Bourbon Barrel "Old Fashioned" IPA by Point Pleasant Brewing. This homebrewed, piney-hopped goodness is reminiscent of its namesake cocktail with notes of cherry, orange peel and oak barrel goodness. Unfortunately for you, this beer was brewed in my garage and you can't buy it. Merry Christmas to me. (We'll talk recipes soon.)
And as a special treat, here are two brews to help you celebrate the New Year.
Eeek from Off Color Brewing in collaboration with Miller Brewing Company. I know, I know. But pick your jaw up off the floor and get off your high horse over the big-beer collab. The Champagne of Beers, Miller HighLife, brings its wort, and Off Color brings the funk with their brett and bacteria blend for an amazing American wild ale. Tart and effervescent, this beer will help you ring in 2017 in craft beer style.
Pale Ale from Sierra Nevada. This is a classic, crushable, easy to find American Pale Ale. Everybody at your New Year's party will drink it, and lots of it. You'll be finding empties under your bed until President's Day. Happy New Year, indeed.
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